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It's a long way from Storrs to London, but things sure seemed familiar during my fifth day at the Olympics, when I saw the Team USA women's basketball team in action. I had bought this ticket over a year ago, and there was no way of knowing what teams I'd actually see… it was a very happy accident that I got to see our women in action!
As I'd seen some men's games a few days before, I was familiar with the venue and how things run there, which made the day more relaxing: I wasn't so worried about being very early, and was able to really enjoy walking through the Olympic Park before the game. I was still feeling the elation of the previous evening's amazing track & field events in the Olympic Stadium, and the crowds on Sunday clearly were still excited about that historic night.
The first game of the day was between Australia and Canada. Australia generally has a strong team, and they jumped out to a big early lead. Canada made a game of it in the second half before falling short. While I enjoyed being back at the Basketball Arena, and tried to focus on this first game, I was really anxious for Team USA to take the court!
It was really exciting to see so many familiar faces on the court… Diana, Tina, Maya, and Sue were in the starting line-up, and Swin and Asjha were on the bench with Geno (No need for last names, right? These are our girls and our coach!). I really had to remind myself that I was at the Olympics and not watching a UConn alumni game.
While China gave Team USA a challenge in the opening quarter, only trailing 31-28, they soon found out who they were really dealing with. Team USA started to open up their lead in the second quarter, and at halftime led 61-36 on their way to a 114-66 victory.
Diana Taurisi led six players in double figures with 22 points, and Maya Moore grabbed seven rebounds. It was an sensational performance all around, and it was gratifying to hear a group of British men sitting behind me express numerous times how impressed they were with the team. Here in Connecticut, we've always known what they're capable of, but the Olympics gives the rest of the world to see some great women's basketball, too!
Team USA takes on Australia in the semi-finals on Thursday night… I'm feeling pretty confident that they'll be awarded gold medals on Saturday!
Jennifer Norcross is an English and history teacher at Stonington High School. She tries to take advantage of her summers off for interesting travel and will be visiting friends and attending several events at the Games.